Social service isn’t a perk in a democracy it’s required


To the editor:

As Battalion Chief Morehead said, “a fair wage for a fair day’s work” is not a perk (“Taking care of civil servants,” February 25, 2010). Neither are health and human services like libraries, clinics, recreation centers and firefighters that keep our community healthy, educated and safe. Rather, they are the tenets of democracy.

Our elected officials’ job is to administer our resources to benefit society and if necessary to fight for the funds required to keep us on the road to progress. 

Unfortunately, the response to another year of budget troubles is to rely on the same old ideas raise the real estate tax, cut and close. In making these decisions, we are presented with a false choice between a fair wage for firefighters and health care, libraries and social workers.

The truth is that Alexandria and the Commonwealth have the money, our decision makers just choose to spend it on other things. 

The people paid over $19 billion in income taxes last year while corporations paid $1.9 billion. Yet, this year the governor chose to spend $50 million to attract potential business instead of investing that $50 million in city firefighters, health care and libraries. Instead of following that same old broken model, Alexandria’s City Council must create jobs and raise revenue while fighting for the funds needed to build and staff libraries, public clinics and hire the fourth firefighter needed on each fire crew.

Lucero Beebe-Giudice

Tenants and Workers United